Karsten Warholm has described the Nike track spikes worn by rival Rai Benjamin as “b*******” and said he is effectively running on trampolines, despite beating the American to 400m hurdles Olympic gold by setting a new historic world record at Tokyo 2020.
The Norwegian became the first man to run under 46 seconds with a time of 45.94, finishing ahead of Benjamin who also went quicker than the previous world record.
There has been plenty of attention around the Nike Air Zoom Victory, which has been created to help athletes maximise their potential. They feature a combination of carbon plates and plenty of foam cushioning, which has led to critics wondering if technology is going too far.
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Warholm is one such naysayer, even though his own Puma shoes are specially designed and engineered by the F1 Mercedes team.
“He had those things in his shoes, which I hate,” he said of Benjamin’s spikes.
I don’t see why you should put anything beneath a sprinting shoe. In the middle distance, I can understand it because of the cushioning. If you want cushioning, you can put a mattress there. But if you put a trampoline I think it’s b*******, and I think it takes credibility away from our sport.

‘Can you imagine running 46.17 and getting a silver?’– Warholm after extraordinary 400m hurdles race

Warholm says his shoes also include a carbon plate but he argues they resemble more traditional spikes.
“We have tried to make it as thin as possible. Because that is the way I would like to do it," he said. "Of course technology will always be there. But I also want to keep it down to a level where we can compare results because that is important.”
Benjamin replied to the claims from Warholm by saying it was all about his own performance and ability, rather than his equipment: “I could wear different shoes and still run fast. No one will do what we just did, I don’t care who you are.
“Could be Kevin Young, Edwin Moses, respect to those guys, but they cannot run what we just ran just now. It’s a really fast track, it felt good, the conditions were really good.”
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